Finally, the Jeep JL build


LsGuy

Manila Gorilla
Sep 11, 2020
227
51
Ohio
Hey all. After months of research and asking questions, gathering parts, I'm pretty much ready to start my build. Just need a few fuses and misc parts. This will be in a 2021 Jeep Wrangler Ultimate with the alpine premium sound system. Primary goal is SQ, at least what can be had out of a wrangler. Spl is also a factor however, since the top and doors do come off on nice summer days.

View attachment 20210107_210001.jpg

Alright so this will be an active 3 way front stage. Grabbing audio signal before it goes into the factory amp via the DSR1. EQ with the DSP, and sent to two amps. One Kicker CXA360.4 will drive the mids and tweets, and the second CXA360.4 will be bridged to run the 6.5 woofers. This gives me ~65w RMS to play with mids and tweets, and ~180 RMS to the woofers.

The front stage will be the Morel Maximo ultra 603 MK2 3 way system. 6.5 woofer, 2.5 wide band mid, and pod mounted tweeters in the dash corners. Woofers will be going into the factory location around the knee area, mounted into sealed pods.. I have not heard them in person yet as it isn't possible near me, but from what I've researched and seen videos of, these seem to be a solid choice.

The woofers will be 6.5s mounted forward firing under the rear seats. The two boxes were designed by Buck here on the forum and built by me. They are 3/4 birch ply boxes ported to 35HZ. I will be running a single FU audio 6.5 sub in each box. Amp rack will be built in between the two woofer boxes and will house the Pioneer amp and the Wavetech LinkQ. Originally I purchased the LinkQ to tune the subs as the full build was supposed to happen at a later time, but now the subs will be tuned from the DSP, and the linkQ will play the role of a bass knob. This amp is cheap and underpowered for these subs at 240W rms x2, in the future I'll upgrade to a better amp that has bass knob abilities built in. Each sub box and the amp rack are designed to be removed easily, as they have to come out in order to fold the rear seats down for cargo hauling.

Power and ground wires are all Stinger pro tinned OFC, distro blocks, fuses, sound deadening and additional hardware are also Stinger. I'm not sponsored by Stinger lol, but their stuff seems quality and I can source it locally.

Future plans are to continue sound dealing the vehicle, roof and floors first to help keep out road noise. I will asses the system loudness with the top and doors off, and determine if I need speakers in the sound bar. If I do, I'll likely pick up some super efficient comps, possibly the Morel Maximus 602s, and maybe run a set of taramps micro amps on them. They would be on an on off switch, that way they can be off in normal conditions as to not screw up the Soundstage, and turned on when the top comes off for extra volume when imaging doesn't matter anyway.

Its winter and I'm working a lot, so this may be a longer build, but I thought I would go ahead and get the thread started. If you have any suggestions or things you would do different, feel free to post it since I'm always open to new ideas.
 

jeeper2269

Senior VIP Member
10+ year member
Mar 17, 2007
337
7
Somewhere, OR
Hey all. After months of research and asking questions, gathering parts, I'm pretty much ready to start my build. Just need a few fuses and misc parts. This will be in a 2021 Jeep Wrangler Ultimate with the alpine premium sound system. Primary goal is SQ, at least what can be had out of a wrangler. Spl is also a factor however, since the top and doors do come off on nice summer days.

View attachment 25668

Alright so this will be an active 3 way front stage. Grabbing audio signal before it goes into the factory amp via the DSR1. EQ with the DSP, and sent to two amps. One Kicker CXA360.4 will drive the mids and tweets, and the second CXA360.4 will be bridged to run the 6.5 woofers. This gives me ~65w RMS to play with mids and tweets, and ~180 RMS to the woofers.

The front stage will be the Morel Maximo ultra 603 MK2 3 way system. 6.5 woofer, 2.5 wide band mid, and pod mounted tweeters in the dash corners. Woofers will be going into the factory location around the knee area, mounted into sealed pods.. I have not heard them in person yet as it isn't possible near me, but from what I've researched and seen videos of, these seem to be a solid choice.

The woofers will be 6.5s mounted forward firing under the rear seats. The two boxes were designed by Buck here on the forum and built by me. They are 3/4 birch ply boxes ported to 35HZ. I will be running a single FU audio 6.5 sub in each box. Amp rack will be built in between the two woofer boxes and will house the Pioneer amp and the Wavetech LinkQ. Originally I purchased the LinkQ to tune the subs as the full build was supposed to happen at a later time, but now the subs will be tuned from the DSP, and the linkQ will play the role of a bass knob. This amp is cheap and underpowered for these subs at 240W rms x2, in the future I'll upgrade to a better amp that has bass knob abilities built in. Each sub box and the amp rack are designed to be removed easily, as they have to come out in order to fold the rear seats down for cargo hauling.

Power and ground wires are all Stinger pro tinned OFC, distro blocks, fuses, sound deadening and additional hardware are also Stinger. I'm not sponsored by Stinger lol, but their stuff seems quality and I can source it locally.

Future plans are to continue sound dealing the vehicle, roof and floors first to help keep out road noise. I will asses the system loudness with the top and doors off, and determine if I need speakers in the sound bar. If I do, I'll likely pick up some super efficient comps, possibly the Morel Maximus 602s, and maybe run a set of taramps micro amps on them. They would be on an on off switch, that way they can be off in normal conditions as to not screw up the Soundstage, and turned on when the top comes off for extra volume when imaging doesn't matter anyway.

Its winter and I'm working a lot, so this may be a longer build, but I thought I would go ahead and get the thread started. If you have any suggestions or things you would do different, feel free to post it since I'm always open to new ideas.
Looking forward to seeing how this turns out. I still have some equipment backordered. Good luck bro.
 

LsGuy

Manila Gorilla
Sep 11, 2020
227
51
Ohio
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
Thanks guys. Jeeper I know you said in my other thread you were saving for the heigh10 unit. I spoke to Mike from Stinger over on the jeep jl forum, and they give a hefty veterans discount,, so if you or anybody else looking at a stinger is a vet I'd definitely suggest reaching out. I always support companies who support vets.
 

JRsmoothee

Think For Yourself, Question Authority - MJK
10+ year member
Aug 12, 2008
1,464
134
sitting on toilet
FYI....when you get everything EQ'd to SQ satisfaction your gonna need more than 65w for mids and tweets......trust me on this one, get the biggest 4 channel you can afford your gonna want headroom....especially in a jeep
 

LsGuy

Manila Gorilla
Sep 11, 2020
227
51
Ohio
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
See thats where I struggle. Morel is so weird about their power ratings. The maximus ultra 602 is rated at 90 watts per side to the crossover. The 603 set is the same speakers, but they add their 2.5 wide band speaker which is rated at 40 rms per speaker, and somehow that only boosts the total rms rating to 100 per side at the crossover? I can't tell what these speakers are individually, so I can't get info on power. The only things I've seen is random people saying the tweets are rated for 50, the 6.5s at 120, and the mids at 40. No clue how accurate these numbers are, so I figured I'd overshoot what most people are pushing to them by a little and see how that goes. The kicker amps I got are discontinued and nicely discounted, I know kicker usually makes a good amp, and the SNR was good, so it seemed like the best sub $200 option. They are also a fairly small footprint for an AB amp. If it is an issue though, its something I can get down the road after I save for a nicer amp. Thanks for your input.
 

JRsmoothee

Think For Yourself, Question Authority - MJK
10+ year member
Aug 12, 2008
1,464
134
sitting on toilet
you might luck out and be fine with 65w depending on how deep down the SQ rabbit hole you go. I like my music loud so my opinion might not matter
 

LsGuy

Manila Gorilla
Sep 11, 2020
227
51
Ohio
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
Agreed I do like my music loud, but I don't need it so loud that I need ear plugs while inside the vehicle lmao. These drivers don't have the worlds greatest sensitivity ratings, but it is over 90, so it may be alright. Will have to see once I start installing.
 
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LsGuy

Manila Gorilla
Sep 11, 2020
227
51
Ohio
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Some progress was made today. After finally being satisfied with the sub box fitment, I cut the speaker holes and the port holes.
25791

25793


Then wired up the subs

25794


Then I glued the boxes up and moved on while they dried. Started working on the front stage. Deadened the new pods and installed the 6.5s. New runs of 12 gauge to all new speakers. Pulled the mids, and just quickly fabbed some mdf adapters to mount them in the factory locations.

25796

25797


Then mounted the tweeters to the factory mid grills

25798


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Got the amps in place and ran the speaker wires to them. Rab the RCAs as well, but have not installed the DSR1 yet. Tomorrow I'll wrap up the sub boxes and get those in, get power to the front stage amps, and hopefully get power to the sub amp, we will see what time allows.
 
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LsGuy

Manila Gorilla
Sep 11, 2020
227
51
Ohio
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
One thing I'd like to point out, you may notice I screwed the sub boxes together, usually I'd just use glue and trim nails but these boxes had to be installed, marked, taken apart and modified so many times that I needed a way to accurately assemble them in a way that they could be easily taken apart. For final assembly they'll be glued, screwed back together since the screw holes are already there, and then the holes filled before painting and carpeting. They'll be sealed with a wood sealant and painted with killz mold inhibiting primer before being carpeted since they will be in a jeep and water is always possible. This is another reason I went with birch ply instead of mdf.
 
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Buck

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Pro Seller
5,000+ posts
10+ year member
May 19, 2008
21,724
491
FL
Make sure those ports are as accurate as you can get. The tolerances need to be very close because a very small change in a small box like that will be a very big change in reality.
 

LsGuy

Manila Gorilla
Sep 11, 2020
227
51
Ohio
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13
Got my front stage going today. Pretty standard install, one thing of note for anybody else installing in a JL
25853


I wanted to run 1/0 gauge power into a distribution block to branch to my other amps. I pulled the plug out where the clutch would be in a manual jeep, drilled a 7/8 hole in the center, and then used a Dorman 5/8 rubber grommet from advanced auto. I had to use a little graphite spray as it was super tight, and then just wiped the wire clean after it was in place. Perfect fit, tight seal.

I have a small amount of interference that can be heard when the radio is muted, it's not horrible and likely due to the ultra crappy temporary RCAs I'm using. We'll see if that clears up when I upgrade the cables. Main power wire is fused and each amp is fused separately. Ran power and ground to the back for the subs, but do not have them installed quite yet. Overall, system sounds pretty good, however I am only in the infancy of its tuning. This is my first active setup, I'm pretty terrible with a dsp.

So far the dsr1 works pretty good, but I definitely understand why there are many negative reviews. I've had some connectivity issues, as well as speakers stop working when I adjust their crossover settings. Ultimately, it seems to do its job well for the price as long as you can have some patience with it.

I'm hoping to get the system moderately well tuned and the subs installed this week.
 

LsGuy

Manila Gorilla
Sep 11, 2020
227
51
Ohio
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14
25881


First sub box finished and in place. Haven't pushed it yet as I am allowing it to break in, but tone wise it sounds great so far.

25882


Picture before carpet showing the mold inhibiting primer.
 

LsGuy

Manila Gorilla
Sep 11, 2020
227
51
Ohio
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19
So I was trying to come up with a good method to secure the subs. I hit a deer today and the sub didn't budge, should be fine for now.
 
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